Broccoli stemshave tender hearts. Here,we've tossed them withwhite beans and an oil-and-lemon dressing.
Cut the tops off each head of broccoli, and trim into 1-inch florets; set aside. Peel each stem to remove tough outer layer. Slice peeled stems on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and broccoli florets. Cook over high heat until florets are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath. Add stems to the boiling water; cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 3 minutes. Transfer to ice bath. Let florets and stems cool completely, and drain.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, beans, onion, lemon juice and zest, oil, and red-pepper flakes. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese; serve immediately.
To get to the heart of the matter, just re-move broccoli's outer layer with a vegetable peeler, slice thestems, and steam or sautethem as you would the florets.